In tractor market ruled by Mahindra, Italy’s Same Deutz-Fahr looks to make a dent

Written by Harish Damodaran | Pune | Published:December 11, 2014 1:47 am

Italian farm machinery maker Same Deutz-Fahr (SDF) plans to launch tractors in the 35 to 42 horsepower (HP) segment “designed and tailor-made for the Indian market”.

The tractors — of 35, 40 and 42 HP and part of a new “3E-Series” — will be commercially sold to farmers from the next agricultural season beginning June 2015, said Francesco Carozza, vice chairman of the euro 1.2 billion-Treviglio (near Milan)-based company. “We now sell tractors of 45, 50, 55, 60, 70 and 80 HP under the Agrolux and Agromax series in India. With the new series, we will be able to offer farmers a wider HP range,” he told The Indian Express here.

Carozza observed that India was the world’ biggest tractor market by volumes, with as many as 6,19,253 units sold in 2013. Of this total, 70,063 were in the small HP (sub-30) and 30,173 in the high HP (50-plus) range. The bulk of tractors sold were in medium range: 31 to 40 HP (220,873) and 41-50 HP (298,142).

“Indian farmers are gradually moving to higher HP tractors. But the bulk of the market is in the below-50 HP segment,” Carozza pointed out.

Aurelio Noto, CEO and managing director of SDF India Ltd, said that the new tractors will be priced “in line with the 35 HP Swaraj tractor being produced by Mahindra & Mahindra, which is the market leader is this segment”.

Mahindra currently has a 40 per cent overall share in the Indian tractor market, followed by Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (TAFE) at about 25 per cent. “Our competition is not Mahindra and TAFE, but New Holland and John Deere. We want to give Indian farmers tractors that are competitively priced while also incorporating advanced German engineering and technical knowhow,” he added. The 3E-Series tractors will be produced from SDF’s existing facility at Ranipet in Tamil Nadu.

“Everything for the tractors — from gearbox to pistons, rings, sheet metal, mesh, plastics and panels — will sourced locally. Even the diesel fuel injection systems supplied by Bosch would be manufactured in India. The only thing being imported now is the fuel injection system for the Euro-4 engines being exported from here,” informed Noto.

SDF’s Ranipet plant has a manufacturing capacity of 120 tractors and 150 engines a day. SDF India, in the current year ending December, is expected to gross Rs 1,200 crore of revenue, with production of almost 9,200 tractors (of which only a quarter would be sold in India) and 28,000 engines. “This factory produces engines of 35 to 170 HP range for our tractors assembled across our plants worldwide, including in Europe,” noted Carozza.

(The writer was in Pune at the company’s invitation)

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